I have been talking about the areas of New Testament studies that were emphasized in my Masters and PhD programs at Princeton Theological Seminary, back in the late 70s and early to mid 80s. It was a long program, even though I sped through it a couple of years faster than most of my colleagues. The Masters program was three years (that is typical for a masters of divinity degree); my PhD was four years (most of my friends took five to seven). That’s full time work, for all those seven years. It’s a lot!
Most of the training that most of my friends/colleagues had was in New Testament exegesis and theology, as I’ve described. My passions lay elsewhere, and my plan is to talk a little about them. But it just occurred to me this morning that my *original* interest in the New Testament was in fact exegesis and theology, even though I would not have used those terms for it.
I had been mildly interested in the Bible even as a child. Very mildly. OK, very, very mildly. I found the stories interesting, but I never read it. I was a church kid, but in the Episcopal Church the Bible was not a huge focus of study. When I was fifteen and had a “born again” experience, the Bible suddenly became very important for me. That’s because the man who “led me to Christ,” as we used to say, was extremely committed to the Bible and saw it as the key to what to believe, what to think, how to act, how to be in the world, how to exist. For him it was flippin’ *everything*. And since he became my spiritual leader, I followed his lead.
Looking back on it, it is a little strange that I thought I had been “led to Christ.” Where was I before? True, I was not…
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